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Hill Prepared to Take Over for Bradford

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Posted: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 10:00 pm

Shaun Hill has been in this position before.

And that’s exactly why the Rams brought him to St. Louis.

Now that Sam Bradford is lost for the season due to another knee injury, Hill will be the starting quarterback for the Rams when the 2014 regular season begins.

Hill came to St. Louis to be Bradford’s backup, but now he’ll be thrust into a starting role.

“Shaun’s our guy, we have all the confidence in the world in him,” Rams Coach Jeff Fisher said at Sunday’s press conference where he announced that Bradford is out for the season after suffering an ACL tear in his left knee during the team’s preseason game Saturday at Cleveland.

With 12 years of experience in the NFL, Hill has been regarded as one of the league’s top backup QBs. And during the Rams training camp and preseason games to date, Hill has looked right at home.

“Coming to this organization, the transition as a whole has been good,” Hill said from the locker room after a preseason game with the Green Bay Packers. “It’s been a good fit.”

Hill signed a one-year deal with the Rams last March, choosing not to remain with the Detroit Lions.

“I had a lot of reasons,” Hill said of coming to St. Louis. “It’s closer to home for me and I’ve always admired Jeff Fisher. And Frank Cignetti, our quarterbacks coach, I have a background with him, too. So there were many factors for us. We weighed our options and felt like this was the best place for us.”

As he said, Hill is now closer to his home. He lives in Osage Beach on Lake of the Ozarks. Hill has also stated another reason he came to St. Louis is that he feels the Rams are a team on the rise.

Hill’s path to the NFL was much different than Bradford’s.

Hill was a multisport standout at Parsons (Kan.) High School, but did not get much attention from Division I schools. Parsons is a town of about 10,000, similar in size to Washington. After high school, Hill signed with Hutchinson Community College and after two successful seasons, he signed with Maryland, leading the team to a conference title and a berth in the Orange Bowl as a senior.

Despite that success, Hill did not get drafted out of college. He signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 2002.  After a stint with the Vikings, Hill became the starter in San Francisco during the 2007 season, replacing Alex Smith. And Hill played well. He had a 300-yard passing game during the 2008 season against the Cowboys. He began the 2009 season as the starter in San Francisco.

Hill later became the backup to Matthew Stafford in Detroit. In 2010, Hill started 10 games for the Lions after Stafford went down with an injury, throwing for 2,686 yards and 16 touchdowns. He did not throw a pass last season. Instead of going back to Detroit for another season, Hill signed a one-year deal with the Rams.

At 34, Hill is the oldest player on the Rams roster. He was brought in as an insurance policy if Bradford would get hurt again. And that’s what happened.

But again, Hill’s been in this exact position before. Hill noted that someone in his position always has to be prepared, physically and mentally.

“I’ve always gone into every week, even as a backup, as if I was going to play,” Hill said. “That’s the only way I knew how to prepare. So to be honest, my mindset is the same as it’s been every week.”

Time and time again, whether in San Francisco or Detroit, Hill has stepped in for an injured starter and played well when called upon. He’s proven he can lead an NFL team.

In 26 career starts, Hill has gone .500 (Bradford is .378 in career starts). Hill has completed 61 percent of his passes during his career, has an 85.9 passer rating and has a 41-to-23 touchdown-interception ratio.

And since arriving in St. Louis, Hill has looked solid in the preseason games.

Wearing No. 14, Hill looked in complete control as he led his new team’s offense against the New Orleans Saints in the preseason opener. Hill connected with both Cory Harkey and Stedman Bailey for touchdowns. He appeared more than capable of leading the team. In the second preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Hill took over for Bradford in the first half and looked completely comfortable in his role. He saw only one series of action against the Browns, as the team didn’t want to see anyone else get hurt.

And if the past is any indication, you can bet Hill will be ready to lead the offense as the starter.

“Obviously I feel terrible for Sam (Bradford),” Hill said. “But, it’s the nature of the business. It’s next guy up and that’s me. There’s a lot of excitement, I’m getting cranked up and ready to go for this one.”

Fisher said he’s confident in Hill’s abilities.

“Shaun has a great feeling for the offense right now, and we’re gonna move forward with him,” Fisher said. “We’re not gonna change anything. He knows the system. He’s very reliable.”

Fisher made one last point.

“This team is going to rally around Shaun Hill.”

/sports

Area Scoreboard

Boys Basketball

Monday, Jan. 12

%St. Charles 85, Bayless 32

%Westminster 64, Washington 44

Fulton SA at Providence    7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 13

Pacific 48, Eureka 38

%Borgia 72, St. Clair 36

#South Callaway 68, North Callaway 29

#Hermann 28, Russellville 13

Crosspoint 59, Heritage Christian Academy 18

%Francis Howell Central 87, Union 79

#New Bloomfield 63, Montgomery Co 59

#Harrisburg 48, New Haven 39

Thursday, Jan. 15

#North Callaway 65, Montgomery County 58

#South Callaway 84, New Bloomfield 58

Bethel at Fulton SA    6:30 p.m.

#Russellville 36, New Haven 34

#Harrisburg 51, Hermann 44

Friday, Jan. 16

%Washington 71, Bayless 43

%Union 65, St. Clair 52

*Crosspoint at Community Christian    6:30 p.m.

%St. Charles 67, Westminster 50

Providence at Fulton SA    7 pm.

#Seventh-place game — New Haven vs. Montgomery Co.    7:30 p.m.

Consolation game — Russellville vs. North Callaway    7:30 p.m.

%Borgia 60, Francis Howell Central 53

Saturday, Jan. 17

%Seventh-place game — Bayless 58, St. Clair 43

#Third-place game — Hermann vs. New Bloomfield   3:30 p.m.

%Consolation game — Washington 66, Union 59

%Third-place game — Westminster 66, Francis Howell Central 62

#Championship game — Harrisburg vs. South Callaway    6:30 p.m.

%Championship game — St. Charles 65, Borgia 40

Sunday, Jan. 18

Pacific vs. Jefferson City (Mizzou)    5:30 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 19

Union 86, Warrenton 62

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Park Hills Central 72, St. Clair 55

Fulton SA at Liberty Christian    6:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at CAGSL    7:30 p.m.

Linn 59, New Haven 38

Thursday, Jan. 22

Union 86, Cuba 72

Fulton SA at Rivers of Life    6 p.m.

Borgia 70, O'Fallon Christian 35

*Crosspoint at Thomas Jefferson    7 p.m.

Pacific 69, Wichita Independent 46

Friday, Jan. 23

Cuba at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Borgia at Trinity    6:45 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    7 p.m.

*Fulton SA at Crosspoint    7 p.m.

Pacific vs. Riverton at Frontenac Tny (Kan.)    8:30 p.m.

New Haven at Chamois    6 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 24

Pacific vs. TBA, Frontenac Tny (Kan.)    TBA

Monday, Jan. 26

^Rock Bridge 79, Northwest 27

^Lutheran South 76, Hillsboro 43

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Jackson at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

^Borgia vs. Union    5:30 p.m.

~Warrenton vs. Chamois    6 p.m.

~Hermann vs. Owensville    6 p.m.

^Washington vs. St. Clair    7 p.m.

~Wright City vs. New Haven    7:30 p.m.

~Montgomery Co vs. St. James    7:30 p.m.

*Bethel at Crosspoint    7:45 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 28

Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

^Northwest vs. Hillsboro   5:30 p.m.

~Warrenton-Chamois loser vs. Wright City-New Haven loser    6 p.m.

~Warrenton-Chamois winner vs. Wright City-New Haven winner    6 p.m.

^Borgia-Union loser vs. Washington-St. Clair loser    7 p.m.

~Hermann-Owensville loser vs. Montgomery Co-St. James loser    7:30 p.m.

~Hermann-Owensville winner vs. Montgomery Co-St. James winner    7:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 30

^Rock Bridge vs. Lutheran South    5:30 p.m.

^Borgia-Union winner vs. Washington-St. Clair winner    7 p.m.

*Providence at Crosspoint    7:30 p.m.

Eagle Ridge at Fulton SA    7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 31

^Seventh-place game    2:30 p.m.

~Seventh-place game    2:30 p.m.

^Consolation    4 p.m.

~Consolation    4 p.m.

^Third-place game    5:30 p.m.

~Third-place game    5:30 p.m.

^Championship    7 p.m.

~Championship    7 p.m.

%Washington Tournament

#South Callaway Tournament

^Union Tournament

~Hermann Tournament

Girls Basketball

Monday, Jan. 12

St. Clair 60, Lutheran South 49

Pacific 65, Lindbergh 40

@Washington 79, Patriettes 28

#Harrisburg 69,  Russellville 45

#New Bloomfield 54, Montgomery Co 29   

Fulton SA at Providence    6 p.m.

@Helias 47, Sullivan 42

#North Callaway 49 vs. New Haven 39 

#Hermann 44 vs. South Callaway 40

Tuesday, Jan. 13

Ursuline 63, Pacific 44

St. Clair 58, Ft. Zumwalt East 27

Heritage Classical at Crosspoint    5:30 p.m.

@St. Charles West 45, Union 38

@Borgia 57, Eureka 35

Wednesday, Jan. 14

#Russellville 43,  New Haven 24

#North Callaway 63, Harrisburg 57

# South Callaway 46, Montgomery Co 28

#New Bloomfield 58, Hermann 50

Thursday, Jan. 15

Bethel at Fulton SA    5 p.m.

St. Clair 54, Northwest 38

@Sullivan 64, Patriettes 32

@Union 56, Eureka 26

Friday, Jan. 16

@Helias 38, Washington 35

Providence at Fulton SA    5:30 p.m.

#Seventh-place game — New Haven 52, Montgomery County 40

#Consolation — Russellville vs.  South Callaway  6 p.m.

@Borgia 47, St. Charles West 37

Saturday, Jan. 17

@Seventh-place game — Eureka 69, Patriettes 39

#Third-place game — Hermann vs. Harrisburg   2 p.m.

@Consolation game — Sullivan 45, Union 38

@Third-place game — Washington 55, St. Charles West 37

#Championship — New Bloomfield vs. North Callaway    5 p.m.

@Championship — Borgia 37, Helias 36

Monday, Jan. 19

*Owensville 78,  St. Clair 68

Warrenton 51, Union 44

New Haven 44, Montgomery Cnty 40 

*Duchesne at Borgia    6:45 p.m.-rescheduled for Friday, Jan. 23

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Fulton SA at Liberty Christian    5 p.m.

Pacific 63, Parkway West 43

New Haven 35, Wellsville 26

Crosspoint at CAGSL    6 p.m.

Borgia 56, O'Fallon Christian 26

Wednesday, Jan. 21

Pacific 55, Eureka 40

Thursday, Jan. 22

*Washington 56, Ft. Zumwalt East 30

*Crosspoint at Thomas Jefferson    5:30 p.m.

Silex 45, New Haven 44

Borgia 67, Trinity 22

Friday, Jan. 23

*Fulton SA at Crosspoint    5:30 p.m.

*Duchesne at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 26

^Holt 60, Pacific 57

^Warrenton 42, Union 40

~Owensville vs. Montgomery Co    6 p.m.

Borgia 62, Cardinal Ritter 41

^St. Clair 64, Lutheran South 45

~Hermann vs. Wright City    7:30 p.m.

^Washington vs. Wentzville Liberty    8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Fulton SA at Barat    4:30 p.m.

~New Haven vs. Montgomery Co    6 p.m.

*Bethel at Crosspoint    6:15 p.m.

~Hermann vs. Wright City    7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 28

^Pacific vs. Union    4 p.m.

Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    5 p.m.

^Washington-Wentzville Liberty loser vs.     5:30 p.m.

~Owensville vs. New Haven    6 p.m.

^Holt vs. Warrenton    7 p.m.

~Hermann vs. Chamois    7:30 p.m.

^Washington-Wentzville Liberty winner vs. St. Clair    8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

*Borgia at Notre Dame    6:45 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 30

^Seventh-place game    4 p.m.

~Consolation    5 p.m.

^Consolation    5:30 p.m.

*Providence at Crosspoint    6 p.m.

Eagle Ridge at Fulton SA    6 p.m.

~Third-place game    6:30 p.m.

^Third-place game    7 p.m.

~Championship    8 p.m.

^Championship    8:30 p.m.

@Union Tournament

#South Callaway Tournament

^Washington Tournament

~Hermann Tournament

Wrestling

Tuesday, Jan. 20

*Ft. Zumwalt North 39, Washington 36

*Union 41, St. James 24

*Union 49, Sullivan 24

Warrenton 48, Union 30

Thursday, Jan. 22

Priory/Windsor at Pacific    5 p.m.

Borgia at Festus    5 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 23

Union, Pacific at MICDS Tny    TBA

Saturday, Jan. 24

Union, Pacific at MICDS Tny    TBA

St. Clair at Ft. Zumwalt South Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Jan. 27

*Pacific at St. Clair    6 p.m.

Borgia at Helias Tri-Meet    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 28

Borgia at Lutheran St. Charles    5 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

Union at Farmington/Summit    5 p.m.

*Pacific at St. James/Owensville    5:30 p.m.

Washington at Seckman    6 p.m.

St. Clair at De Soto    TBA

Friday, Jan. 30

St. Clair at Potosi/Festus    5 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 31

Pacific at Hazelwood East Tny    9 a.m.

Girls Swimming

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Timberland 140, Washington 96, Ft. Zumwalt East 87

Thursday, Jan. 22

Oakville 120, Washington 115, University City 9, Mehlville 6

Saturday, Jan. 24

Washington vs. Borgia    noon

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Washington at St. Charles West    3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 29

Washington at Affton/Lutheran South    4:15 p.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic    8:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

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